AG Byron appeals to civil servants to “do your work” despite political affiliation

Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 29, 2015 (SKNIS)—Attorney General, Honourable Vincent Byron Jr, has appealed to civil servants who are supporters of opposition parties to perform their jobs efficiently.

Minister Byron was responding to a question posed by a caller to the radio programme “Working For You” with respect to the Government’s approach to sympathizers of the Labour Party who are still in Government service.

“You support Labour, that’s fine. Do your work. If you don’t do you work, the normal practice in any business is, see you later—we sanction you. But not because I’m Labour, therefore do me something,” the attorney general said.

He made it clear however, that there were some suspected wrongdoings in Government that Team Unity campaigned against which will involve a thorough investigation and if necessary, forensic accounting.

“Once we get the evidence that wrongdoing was done, the law must prevail. That has to be the process,” he said.

One of these concerns, the attorney general said he inherited from the previous administration was the unlawful incarceration of persons who were later released. He assured that those involved with allowing these unlawful incarcerations will be prosecuted based on the current investigations being conducted.

“No one is going to escape that but it can’t all happen in nine months,” he said. This investigation he said also includes some projects under the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF) under the previous administration. “Justice is not about revenge or vengefulness. It cannot be because that is not the kind of country we need or we want. Team Unity wants to issue something new, a breath of fresh air in this country and we have to keep it that way,” he said.

He suggested that some supporters of Team Unity believe the Government is too lenient with activists and supporters of the opposition in government. But he reiterated that the Team Unity Government had campaigned that it would conduct itself differently and would not engage in victimization. He stressed that under the Labour Administration, some people were denied promotions in public service and were marginalized.

“I think there was genuine concern that there are a number of people who were “political” under the Douglas administration who continue to function in the public service and who, by extension should now be marginalized or repositioned or even dismissed and I say, for me, this is not what we campaigned about,” the attorney general said.

He noted that Team Unity promotes harmony among the people of St. Kitts and Nevis despite political affiliation and does not seek to continue promoting political tribalism.

“We hear a number of negative comments on other (radio) programmes. They irk, they get behind people and people tend to feel that…you have to do something,” he said. “When I hear about what is being said by certain members of Parliament on radio stations, for me it only solidifies why it is that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis voted Labour out of office. But do they want another government to act in the same way against Labour people? I don’t think that is what the country wants. We have to be very, very careful, that we have to take our time and evolve a new culture in this country.”

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